. . . I lie on my back on my couch facing away from the windows, obscured by sheets and towels, on account of my not having gotten around to hanging black-out curtains. The sun is rising and I’m awake for it once again, which is a miserable feeling. I really ought to fix my sleep schedule, but I can’t break the spell! Anytime I try to sedate myself with Trazodone, I end up way oversleeping, what with that stuff being extremely potent. With a full pill you could put a clydesdale in a coma. As for me, I take what is essentially a crumb and I’m knocked off my ass for 14 hours. I’ve got plenty of time anymore now that my life has been stripped of all meaning, but I wasn’t exactly trying to spend it all in Nightmare Land, which is where I go whether I sleep naturally or artificially.

Yesterday I woke up and my pillow was soaked and I had tears streaming down my face. I had been crying in my dream and was crying in real life too. I’m sure you can guess why. What does it mean when someone has nightmares every single night of their life? I can’t ever get out from under them. I wake up completely shattered. I spend the next few hours with one foot still in the nightmare until I am as sure as I’ll ever be that I have fully awoken . . . and even then, who really knows, and what’s the difference anyway? I serve no purpose to myself nor anyone else in my waking life. I already told you what my big problem is, which is that I have found myself on the other side of the border once again, if you catch my meaning. Up here in the tower, I live like Count Dracula. I’m not really alive. Rather, I feel as though I’m just pitifully pantomiming my life, emptied of all meaning by years of repetition. I am watching myself on television.

. . . The woman he had loved most (he was thirty at the time) would tell him (he was nearly in despair when he heard it) that she held on to life by a thread. Yes, she did want to live, life gave her great joy, but she also knew that her “I want to live” was spun from the threads of a spiderweb. It takes so little, so infinitely little, for someone to find himself on the other side of the border, where everything—love, convictions, faith, history—no longer has meaning. The whole mystery of human life resides in the fact that it is spent in the immediate proximity of, and even in direct contact with, that border, that it is separated from it not by kilometers but by barely a millimeter.


. . . and as my friend Philip K. Dick wrote in VALIS:

Who am I? How many people am I? Where am I? This plastic little apartment in southern California is not my home, but now I am awake, I guess, and here I live, with my TV, and my stereo and my books . . . In comparison to my life in the inter-connected dreams, this life is lonely and phony and worthless . . . Where are the roses? Where is the lake? Where is the slim, smiling, attractive woman coiling and tugging the green garden hose? The person that I am now, compared with the person in the dream, has been baffled and defeated and only supposes he enjoys a full life. In the dreams, I see what a full life really consists of, and it is not what I really have.


And see, I thought I knew the depths of myself, and how deep I could go. I thought I had been to the deepest layer, and had got out again. I was mistaken. I am experiencing despair in ways I had not thought was possible for me, which is saying something. I completely understand now how a perfectly normal person can wake up one day and drive a tractor-trailer off a cliff, or whatever. I get it. Whatever feeble mechanisms of self-preservation were in place before, the ones that have kept me around for 36 years, they have vanished. I don’t have a death wish but I also don’t care. I’ve said as much before. It’s like dark matter inside my brain, a sort of inexorable truth that I can’t shake, and which permeates everything I do. It is the filter through which everything passes. Nothing gets around it. No light can escape! You should care about your life and what happens to you. It is almost repulsive to me that I cannot care about myself . . . because I desperately want to care! I don’t know what it means when you want to and yet you can’t make yourself do it. I guess as usual I am my own experiment. Wait and see!

Once again I feel the heat of the sun warming my apartment through the sheets I have hung up, and I hear birds in the trees outside my window. This fills me with dread when it ought to do the opposite. Ahab says something melodramatic about how light and all loveliness is anguish to him since he can never enjoy it anymore, and that the path to his fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon his soul is grooved to run, by which he means his final act of self-destruction. Yeah. Well, time to dwell on my own fixed purpose from within the landless latitude of my nightmares. I’d bet money that’s where I’m headed in a few minutes, though I’ll tell you what, I’d give just about anything to be wrong.